Direct Representation Cases:

Wins 14
Losses 02
cedar_point-Nursery Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Supreme Court affirms property rights for California fruit growers

Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company are California growers that produce fruit for millions of Americans. Collectively, they employ around 3,000 Californians. In 2015, the United Farm Workers (UFW) viewed the workers as ripe for the picking and sent union organizers to storm the workplaces during harvest time to encourage them to unionize ...

Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco

Government can’t force tenants for life

Mr. Pakdel is a small business owner in Ohio. In 2009 he bought what's known as a "tenancy in common" (TIC) apartment in San Francisco and leased it to a residential tenant. As part of the purchase, Pakdel signed an agreement with the other owners to convert the building's six units into condominiums. But the City of San Francisco requires that pro ...

June 23, 2021

A farmer’s relentless bravery has led him all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for property rights

***Editor’s note: Mike Fahner won his case at the Supreme Court in June 2021. The Court decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid rules that the government cannot force people to allow third parties to trespass on their property.   Mike Fahner is the founder and CEO of Cedar Point Nursery, a strawberry farm in ...

May 05, 2021

Harvard’s inconsistent position on discrimination ignores the full meaning of equality before the law

Later this month, Harvard University will file its brief asking the Supreme Court to refrain from reviewing its admissions policy. Its full-throated defense of the policy, which discriminates against "Asian-American" students, reveals the university's inconsistent position on discrimination. On one hand, Harvard condemns discrimination against Asia ...

April 30, 2021

Daily Journal: In AFP v. Beccera, Supreme Court has the opportunity to bolster free speech 

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard argument in a case asking whether you have the right to privacy when you make charitable donations.  Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, 19-251 (S. Ct., filed Aug. 26, 2019); The case involves a California requirement that all nonprofit organizations soliciting donations within Califo ...

April 28, 2021

National Review: Free speech in battle with snitch culture before the courts

As a high-school sophomore, B. L. was upset when she failed to make the varsity cheerleading team. At the mall with a friend that weekend, she vented her frustrations by posting a picture to Snapchat in which she raised her middle finger accompanied by the caption, "F*** school f*** softball f*** cheer f*** everything." One ...

April 08, 2021

Can the police enter your house and take your stuff without a warrant?

Can the police enter your home and confiscate your weapons without a warrant? That's the question the Supreme Court is getting ready to decide in Caniglia v. Strom. But the answer won't be found in the Second Amendment. Instead, the Court will consider whether the police violated a Rhode Island man's Fourth Amendment right against ...

March 12, 2021

You shouldn’t need to be rich to defend your civil rights in court

Editor’s note: In March 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Uzuegbunam to allow nominal damages for past completed constitutional injuries. This decision will ensure access to the court (regardless of someone’s wealth) to more people who’ve had their rights violated by the government. *** If the government ...

March 03, 2021

Jurist: Accountability in the administrative state: the role of SCOTUS

The modern Administrative State "wields vast power and touches almost every aspect of daily life." Ensuring accountability for the officials who exercise this vast power is no simple task. But the Supreme Court has the opportunity to improve what Madison called the "chain of dependence"—so that "those who are employed in the execution of the ...

December 08, 2020

Daily Journal: High court should require agencies to be transparent about decision-making

In a letter written late in his life to Kentucky legislator William Barry, James Madison warned that a "popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both." In the context of the sprawling and often unaccountable modern administrative state these words ...

March 25, 2021

NYTimes: Testing Time at the Supreme Court

The case that the Supreme Court heard this week about a California law granting union organizers access to private farms has been described as a labor case, which it marginally is. It has also been described as a case about property rights, which it definitely is. But what makes Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid one of the most important cases of the current term is the question it presents for the newly configured court: whether, after years of disappointment, the political right may finally be able to take the Supreme Court for granted.

March 24, 2021

The Hill: A California tree nursery’s Supreme Court fight has far-reaching implications for property owners

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, an important property rights case. Cedar Point could set a major precedent determining whether the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires the government to compensate property owners when it forces them to give outside private parties extensive access to their land. If the state prevails, government would have broad power to force property owners to allow outsiders onto their property.

March 23, 2021

Orange County Register: The Supreme Court must protect the property rights of California farmers

If you own private property, can you keep other people away if you don’t want them there? The answer is, “yes, of course.” With the exception of the police, health and safety inspectors, and other government-sanctioned visits – all pursuant to strict limitations baked into the law – landowners have every right to keep uninvited guests out.

March 22, 2021

The Hill: Supreme Court should affirm California farmers’ property rights

Sudden workplace disruptions — a car alarm, WiFi interruption, or burnt popcorn in the breakroom — may violate our concentration but not our constitutional rights. Such a dubious honor goes to California’s legalized property invasion, whereby uninvited union organizers can invade agriculture firms’ private property to recruit members.

March 19, 2021

Washington Post: Property rights get a day in court

At 5 a.m. on an October day in 2015, union organizers barking through bullhorns swarmed onto the grounds of Cedar Point Nursery near California’s border with Oregon. The organizers surged through the sheds where some of the nursery’s 100 full-time workers and more than 400 seasonal workers were preparing strawberry plants.

November 13, 2020

Jurist: The Supreme Court and the importance of nominal damages

When attorneys file legal complaints in court, they generally request specific relief for the plaintiff, such as a declaration that government action was unconstitutional, or an injunction, or compensatory damages. Then, just in case they forgot something, they add a catch-all request asking for “any such additional relief as would be just and proper.” While legal documents have a terrible reputation for redundant, stilted language, this catch-all request for relief is not mere boilerplate.

November 13, 2020

The Federalist: Philadelphia foster care case challenges Justice Scalia’s most controversial opinion

On Nov. 4, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a challenge to the city’s exclusion of Catholic Social Services from participation in the foster care system due to its views on same-sex behavior. This may sound like a run-of-the-mill battle in the culture war, but there’s a lot more to it.

November 9, 2020

The Hill: ObamaCare and the saddest kind of dissent

Judges write dissenting opinions for all kinds of reasons — to create a roadmap for future challenges, to register their protest, or to persuade their colleagues over time. The best dissents are the ones that never see the light of day because they are so persuasive and they become the majority. And perhaps the saddest are those that began as a majority opinion but ultimately lost the majority.

October 13, 2020

Daily Journal: Supreme Court to hear important Voting Rights Act case

The Voting Rights Act is one of the most successful pieces of legislation ever enacted. In the years immediately after its passage, record numbers of African-American registered and voted. Indeed, by 2012 African-American voting rates were the highest of any demographic in the country.

October 06, 2020

The Detroit News: How a Supreme Court with eight justices works

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just weeks before the start of the Supreme Court’s 2020-21 term has left many wondering: What happens when there’s an eight-member court?

September 19, 2020

Fox News: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a lioness of the law

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served for 27 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, passed away on Friday. When her longtime friend and fellow opera fan, Justice Antonin Scalia, died in 2016, Ginsburg lamented that the court would be a “paler place” without her ideological opponent and debate partner.

August 13, 2020

The Hill: States should pay attention to Supreme Court justices’ comments on ‘reopening’ orders

The scope and duration of the stay-at-home orders issued by state governors this year are unlike any past pandemic orders in American history. So it is not surprising that several hundred lawsuits have been filed around the country to challenge their application in various contexts.

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